1) Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you were going to become a writer? If so, what was it?
Of course, as a child with no inhibitions or concept of failure, it was easy to read and think it was just as easy to write. I used to write as often as I read and spoke the stories inside my head to friends.
A defining moment, though, is tough to recall — about as tough as it was to remember my first kiss. I did, by the way. His name was Scott and we were in the 5th grade. Awkward, to say the least, but I remember it now.
I’ll say that while in college the first time around, I struggled with the idea of being there along with my own identity crisis: what is the point of my existence type mentality at that time. I thought it would be great to be a flight attendant and travel the world. I wished I was tall and sexy so I could audition to become a model and see the world.
I wished I was wealthy or knew someone wealthy to hook up with and see the world.
Toward the end of my second semester, the sweetest woman alive sat me down, rubbed my back, and asked the most basic question of all: what is it you enjoy doing the most? I remember sitting up quick, drying my eyes, and saying Writing! without a second thought.
From there all my courses changed, I got an intern position at a now defunct magazine, and twenty years later, I’m still attempting to achieve that life goal. 😀
2) When you write a story, do you see it unfold as one big picture, or do you add layering in subsequent drafts?
Amazing question that requires a good deal of thought in order to answer correctly, I think.
It sometimes seems as if I’ve got this thing by the horns and know A, B, C order like the back of my hand. It never fails, though, that as I start writing things begin to change, develop, and take unexpected turns.
In complete and utter honesty, I never — or have yet to — see the entire story laid out before my eyes. Never. It seems more like I envision characters, places, and certain events instead.
I’m not a huge fan of country music, but with my latest MP3 player being stolen from my car (I know, dumb me to leave it there) I am forced to have to tune in to radio. Last Saturday everything was football, so I happened upon a country-western channel and left it there. As I waited in a drive-through line for a small diet Coke, Dean Brody’s Mountain Man started to play.
By the time it was over, I was not only in stitches but had the workings of one great novel forming inside my mind. But again, not the whole forest; just a few trees.
3) How many drafts do you usually write before you send your work to your editor?
I wish I had an editor. 😀
Being unemployed and broke for nearly six years has a lot to do with that, though. I couldn’t afford anything. Not even a decent cover. I had to make one on my own.
Even though I don’t and haven’t submitted any of my work to an established publishing house yet, I do have my son — an English major and current educator who has returned for his Masters in Education.
I don’t know why it is so easy for others to find and like small or even large groups of like-minded souls who are abundantly helpful with critique. I try and fail.
About the question, though, I only ever complete a single draft and then go back to edit. I look at the process as rough first draft, edit ten to fifteen, then a single fine tune once-over before moving on to the next manuscript.
It takes at least ten edits for me to be satisfied with any piece of work in production. This latest WIP is a complete overhaul after 14 edits and two attempts at Indie publication.
On average, one story takes close to a year to finish after lots and lots of polish, edit, change, tweak, and wonder.
As always, I thank you kindly for dropping in and saying hello. I look forward to hearing what you think, too! Now, if you would be so kind as to continue the hop by visiting with Carolyn Spear to discover what she has to say, that would be awesome.